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Columbia House looking to get back in the mail-order game with vinyl records

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Cue up the sound of a record rewinding: Columbia House, the once-famous mail-order business that sold CDs for a penny, is looking to relaunch by selling vinyl records.

John Lippman, who bought the brand out of bankruptcy this month, revealed the plan in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Citing millennials’ enthusiasm for vinyl, he said, “You can see a yearning and an interest to try a new format.”

Although many associate Columbia House with its CD business — revenue peaked in 1996 at about $1.4 billion — the company dates back to the 1950s and has also sold vinyl records, 8-tracks, cassette tapes, and DVDs over the years, often via seemingly impossible deals. But, unable to keep up after sea changes in the music and home-video industries, it filed for bankruptcy in August.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl says were up 52% in the first half of this year, but the format still makes up just 7% of the overall music market.

Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.

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